Making a creamy tomato soup without dairy

We strongly associate tomatoes with summer, but tomato soup doesn’t sound very appealing in June.

In the winter months, canned tomatoes are a great base for this cozy dish. Cookbook author Ellie Krieger has another trick up her sleeve for smooth, creamy tomato soup: cashews. Unlike many nuts, cashews — technically a seed — puree into a nearly cream-like consistency, which is helpful for making all kinds of vegan cheeses, milks and butters.

This is one of the dishes from Krieger’s new book “You Have It Made: Delicious, Healthy, Do-Ahead Meals” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30) that she’ll be teaching when she swings through town next week for Lake Austin Spa Resort’s monthly culinary experience week. The classes are only open to spa guests, and you can check out the lineup atlakeaustin.com. (Planning ahead? James Beard-winning pastry chef and former Food Network host Gale Gand will teach a class March 14, and Paris-based cookbook author Dorie Greenspan has a class scheduled for April 11.)

Cookbook author Ellie Krieger makes this creamy tomato soup without any dairy. Her secret? Pureed cashews, which give the soup a smooth, hearty texture. Photo by Quentin Bacon.

Cookbook author Ellie Krieger makes this creamy tomato soup without any dairy. Her secret? Pureed cashews, which give the soup a smooth, hearty texture. Photo by Quentin Bacon.

Creamy Tomato Soup

My husband was shocked when I told him there was no cream in this velvety tomato soup. He was also surprised at how well it satisfied his hunger. What makes all that rich taste and contentment is cashews, which have a mild, creamy flavor and easily puree to a smooth consistency, so they are perfect to add to soups when you want extra body and creaminess, as well as the extra satisfaction from their protein, fiber and healthy fats. You can easily make a double batch of this for freezing.

— Ellie Krieger

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 large stalks celery, chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 (28-oz.) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes
3/4 cup raw cashews
2 Tbsp. tomato paste

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, 1 1/2 cups of water, cashews and tomato paste.

Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the soup begins to thicken, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, for about 15 minutes, then puree in three batches until smooth, transferring the puree to a pot or storage container as it is pureed. Reheat the soup in a pot over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Serves 4.

— From “You Have It Made: Delicious, Healthy, Do-Ahead Meals” by Ellie Krieger (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30)

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